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5«>S X I 

I Quarterly 

ffifffl/m m 



, Creatine 

pX/Oman A quarterly, Governors State University, Park Forest South, IL 60466. 

Vol. 3, No. 4 SPRING 1980 

A quarterly published at Governors State University under the auspices of the Provost's Office 

© 1980, Governors State University and Helen Hughes 

Helen E. Hughes, Editor 
Lynn Thomas Strauss, Managing Editor 
Joan Lewis, Editorial Consultant 
Suzanne Oliver, Graphic Designer 

Pam Rebeck and 
Elfie Hinterkopf 

Donna Bandstra, Social Sciences 

Rev. Ellen Dohner, Religion 

Rita Durrant, League ot American Penwomen 

Dottie Fisk, Children's Creativity 

Harriet Gross, Sociology/ Women's Studies 

Helene Guttman, Biological Sciences 

Mimi Kaplan, Library Resources 

Shirley Katz, M usic/ Literature 

Young Kim, Com m unications Science 

Harriet Marcus, Journalism 

Elizabeth Ohm, Library Resources 

Betye Saar, Fine Arts 

Marjorie Sharp, Human Relations Services 

Sara Shumer, Political Theory 

Emily Wasiolek, Literature 


1 Introduction 

Voun S Elfae H<Ln£eAkop6, 
Gue&t EdiionA 

2 Female Sexual Ity 

HeJUn E. Hughe* 

7 Women and Self-esteem: A Search for 
a New Identity 

SandM. f. WhutakeA 

11 Women Earn a New Identity 
Ca/uol Lefevtie. 

16 On The Feminist Study of Motherhood 
TeAsU ?e.a&e.-SchwcVitz 

22 The High Achieving Woman & Stress 
Vam Rebeck 6 Bonnie Rudolph 

24 Breast Cancer and Peer Counsel ing 
Haul Kaplan & Ann Hoacou 

27 Focusing: A Method For Achieving 
Authentic Roles 

Elfae. HAjvtenkopi 

30 Changing Men 

VavM McutteAon 

33 Letter From Holland 
Hetcn Hughe* 

36 From The USSR: A New Feminist 
Underground Publication 

Future Issues: 

A look at Ecology and the special 
contributions made by women to 
a better understanding of the 
relationships among all living 
beings as well as our relation to 
the environment. Guest editors 
will be Bethe Hagens (editor of 
Acorn , Outlook , and professor 
of anthropology at GSM) and 
Joan Lewis, of our staff. 
Deadline for contributions is 
June 21, 1980. 


Fall 1980. Inspired by her work 
with senior citizens, our guest 
editor 'large Sharp is very 
excited about this issue. We 
especially invite women to 
submit articles on their own 
feelings and experiences of 
what Simone de Beauvoir has 
called "The Coming of Age." 
Deadline September 21, 1980. 

Winter 1981. Our guest editor 
Dr. Beverly Beeton, historian 
and Executive Assistant to 
President of Governors State 
University invites articles, 
songs, biographical sketches, 
etc. on homesteader experiences, 
American Indian women, trail 
experiences, loneliness, and 
any other appropriate genre. 
Deadline December 21, 1980. 

An Intro duction 

by Pom Rebeck 6 Ellle Hinterkopl, 
Guest Editors 

Changing roles is currently a 
ma jo a. issue in the lleld ol psychology , 
rejecting what may be a universal 
phenomena which reaches across cultures 
and continents. The. search ion. 
authenticity has led both women and 
men in our society to grapple with 
the pains and rewards ol rapidly sex notes. This prolesslonal 
preoccupation l& readily apparent 
in the Spring lisue ol T he Creative 
Woman, devoted to Womenand Psychology. 
Our authors all discuss the develop- 
ment o^ a personalized value system — 
the Internal relerence point so 
necessary to becoming an authentic 
human being. Wi£h the rapid desinte- 
gration ol traditional sex roles as 
accepted norms, all that Is lelt to 
guide behavior It, personal need 
balanced within a societal framework. 
Never has It been more necessary to 
"know thyself. 

Helen Hughes presents an historical 
perspective ol the benevolent 
influence ol matriarchies. She 
elaborates on the connection between 
the historical development ol orienta- 
tions generally ascribed as feminine, 
( such as peace, nature, religion 
and nurturing) and the biological 
roots ol female sexuality. 

Sandra Whltaker links sell- 
esteem to masculine characteristics 
such as ascendence, independence, 
lack ol emotion, c-onlldence and good 
cognitive processes. Her research 
shows that women have lower sell- 
esteem than men because the charac- 
teristics such as emotionality, 
dependence, and poor cognitive pro- 
cesses associated with femininity are 
less favorable. She addresses the 
question ol how to raise the level 
ol sel^- esteem In women. 

Carol lefevre writes about the 
experiences ol women who are turning 
Irom careers In the home to graduate 
School. These women must change 
their role identity Irom one based 


on biology and relationship to 
one ol autonomy, competence and 
achievement. Vr. lefevre takes the 
position that women must bring together 
both ol these Identities and In doing 
so they reach a higher stage In their 
personal psychosocial development. 

Terrl Pease-Schwartz exploring 
the experience ol motherhood Irom 
the perspective ol psychoanalytic 
psychology and the experience ol 
those women who have borne and raised 
children asks a new question. Voes the 
mothering experience, rather than 
being a limbo lor the [sell- actualizing) 
liberated woman, really oiler a 
valuable experience lor psychic growth? 

In their article Pom Rebeck 
and Bonnie Pudolph outline some ol 
the variables that contribute to an 
Intense level ol stress lor the high 
achieving woman, and suggest some 
methods lor coping with stress. 

Mimi Kaplan and Ann Uarcou llnd 
that women who undergo mastectomies 
are more concerned with the threat 
to their lives than the more cosmetic 
Issue ol breast loss. They have 
lound that women In peer counseling 
groups oiler each other needed Inlor- 
mation, assurance and encouragement 

Ellle Hinterkopl llnds locusing 
a means ol personal trust In the 
search lor authenticity in the midst 
ol rapidly changing sex roles. Through 
the use ol locusing, women can learn 
to create roles Irom i^ithln, rather 
than living according to externally 
created sex-role expectations. 

Dave Matteson oilers a perspective 
on how men are adjusting to changing 
sex roles and suggests that men will 
change when they experience alternative 
ways ol being male as modeled by 
other men 

Rejected In all these articles 
are the personal and prolessional 
struggles ol these authors and those 
ol their subjects /clients in a human 
condition we will all share In the 
'80's—the search lor authenticity. 


by Helen E. Hughes 

My purpose in this article is 
to clear away some of the junk that 
has accumulated around this* ques- 
tion. We women have been sold a 
bill of goods! Ue are about the 
task of freeing ourselves from con- 
tradictory and demeaning stereo- 

To unde 
ity, let us 
from biology 
search, but 
perience and 
mary means o 
ert Levin's 
Johnson's bo 
he writes, " 
to be comfor 

rstand our own 
consider the ev 
, history and s 
let us make our 

f validation, 
preface to Mast 
ok, The Pleasur 
To know is one 
table with uhat 

knows is ano 
right for on 
Uomen are di 
they have a 
make a perso 
they wish to 

ther; tp_ choose 
eself is still 
scovering today 
fresh opportuni 
nal choice abou 
experience the 



ex re- 
own ex- 

the pri- 

In Rob- 

ers and 

e Bond , 

what is 

another. " 

ty to 

t how 

ir sex- 


Let us start with biology. In 
the beginning, we were all created 
female. All mammalian embryos are 
innately female. Six weeks after 
conception, if the fetus is geneti- 
cally programmed to become a male, 
androgen is added. 3ohn Money, re- 
searcher in sex and gender, says, 
"Nature simply uses the rule: add 
androgen and get a male; do nothing 
and get a female." The female is 
the basic model of the species. 
The male is a variation. So Eve 
was not made from Adam's rib. Adam 
evolved from the basic form — Eve. 
It is important for women to get 
this concept in our heads because 
for the biologist, in a real sense, 
the female _is the species. Uhen 
Simone de Beauvoir wrote her book 
on the cultural devaluation of wo- 
men, she called it The Second Sex , 
and it massively documented the 
effects of male dominance, primacy, 
and their almost unbelievable sub- 
jugation of women. Now we know 
that woman is in fact The First Sex 
and that she is blessed with many 
biological advantages which have 
been listed by Elizabeth Gould Davis 
in her book by that name: "More 
efficient metabolism, the more spe- 
cialized organs, the greater resis- 
tance to disease, the built-in im- 
munity to certain specific ailments, 
the extra X chromosome, the more 
convoluted brain, the stronger heart 
and the longer life" (1971, p. 329). 

I am not sure ab 
it does seem cle 
that females are 
than males accor 
from her longitu 
found that the f 
of babies who we 
uhose lives she 
were "more resil 
ible to the ups 
environment... (a 
return to an inn 
Such scientific 
ed women to re-a 
and the meaning 
Among our biolog 
several marked s 
more complete se 
capacity for mul 
orgasmic respons 
sensualness" des 
Neuton as erotic 
from childbirth 
as well as inter 
direct genital s 
on this later. 

Freud calle 
stunted penis" a 
a result of her 
uoman uas also m 
had an inadequat 
uas masochistic 
Jane Sherfey, al 
wrote in 1966, " 
speaking, it is 
the penis is an 
is, the scrotum 
labia majora, et 

out all 
ar from 

less v 
ding to 
dinal s 
re born 
is stil 
ient, 1 
and dou 
nd they 
ate pot 
ssess t 
of thei 
ical ad 
exual c 
xual ap 
tiple o 
e, and 

and bre 

of t 


in he 

in 1 
1 fol 
ess s 
ns of 
) ten 

r sex 
r sus 
the " 
by Ni 
re de 
astf e 
and o 

hat, but 
y Bayley 

r group 
929 and 

d to 

1 ves 
ges are 
ties: a 
us, the 


d the 
nd rea 
e sens 
and pa 
so a p 
is der 
c." T 

1 inf 
e of 
t to 
ake y 


. M 


t as 








In the matter of scientific 
understanding, at least, ue have 
come a long uay: from Lord Acton 
to Masters and Johnson. Dr. Acton, 
London urologist and leading auth- 
ority of his time, wrote in 1857 
that it uas a "vile aspersion" to 
even suggest that women had any 
sexual nature since "the majority 
of uomen--happily for society — are 
not very much troubled with sexual 
feelings of any kind." Rene Spitz 
has written of the thousands of mu- 
tilating excisions of the clitoris 
(clitoridectomy ) performed in the 
19th and early 20th century to cure 

girls and women of the unhealthy 
habit of masturbation. There was 
an entire medical journal devoted 
to the exchange of papers on what 
they called Orificial Surgery. 

For Sherfey, on the other hand, 
female sexual appetite is literally 
insatiable and the nymphomaniac is 
the biological norm. Masters and 
Johnson write, matter of factly, 
"Most women will be satisfied with 
three to five orgasms." 

(Mow, that's a distance] 


ual c 

in at 

are i 








I sho 






and c 


one i 



to th 

has w 





Sex r 





it is 




the c 

With the 
nee of t 

views a 
of opini 

and how 
ents abo 
ms, for 
ical ram 

of the 
uld like 
s and ou 

is some 
acle of 

is a di 
ng of th 
s "immat 



e wo 





e, b 






he extrao 
of the fe 

e. Ue ca 
cross the 
on. Uhat 

shall we 
ut clitor 
if ication 

to sugge 
r own exp 
thing lud 
a room fu 
s arguin 
f f erence 
orgasms a 
e differe 
ure", the 

s an 
n ob 
al v 
s an 
By a 
11 o 
g ab 
nd w 

, ch 
d fe 
11 w 
t ou 

S. V 

d im 
to o 
us i 
f ma 
is : 
er i 


e ex- 
e be- 
t the 

ur own 

n the 

i.e. , 

re leav 
ve I in 
rk of N 
en that 

three r 
lve two 
irth an 

her ar 

, vocal 

x, the 

ing the 
vite yo 
iles Ne 

e femal 

d breas 
from Ki 

and 3o 
rbed an 

to sex 
if one 
ons in 

ur atten 
wton. S 
are "tre 
e sexual 
tive act 
s: inter 
tf eeding 
nsey and 
hnson ha 
by notin 
If chi 
d undrug 
ual exci 
, facial 
the uter 
al muscl 









the central nervous system, the 
unusual strength and flexibility of 
the body, sensory perception, and 
— last and most important-- the sub- 
jective emotional response. If you 
are my age, you uill have missed 
that great erotic experience, most 
likely, and uill have delivered your 
babies strapped down in a uhite, 
sterile room, attended by a male 
doctor, frightened, and knocked out 
by anesthesia. If you are the age 
of my tuo daughters-in-lau (or my 
mother) you may have had the exper- 
ience described in the book Tuo 
Births , Examine the faces of these 
uomen giving birth. Similar find- 
ings are reported by anthropologists 
who have lived and uorked among pri- 
mitive tribes. Lactation, similarly, 
is related to erotic arousal. It is 
also interesting that mothers uho 
breast feed are more tolerant of 
their children's sex play, are less 
punitive and repressive. 

Finally, females are also bio- 
logically blessed with the capacity 
to enjoy full sexual response 
throughout their entire lifespan, 
with no upper limit. Now that ue 
live longer, ue have discovered that 
middle age can be a time of product- 
ivity and grouth and that sexual re- 
sponse continues into very old age, 
Clara Thompson, psychoanalyst, has 
uritten, "If a uoman's uhole iden- 
tity is defined by her menstrual 
cycle uhich gives her validity 
in the culture only as a childbear- 
ing person, the menopause can be a 
painful and difficult time. But if 
she is able to make connections 
uith the culture as a person in her 
oun right, the event of menopause 
recedes into perspective and is no 
longer a signal of the end of life ." 
Many in our society dread old age 
partly because of the fear of the 
loss of attractiveness and opportun- 
ities for pleasure. It is time to 
destroy the stereotype of "sexless 
old age." The pace and timing of 
sexual activity change, it is true, 
but satisfaction need not. "There 
is no time limit draun by the ad- 
vancing years to female sexuality" 

state Masters and Johnson. 

The next idea I uant to explore 
is the notion of a primitive matri- 
archy, existing in prehistory, uhich 
comes doun to us through legends, 
epic poetry, uorks of art, legal 
conceptions and language itself. 
Uas there such an era? If so, uhat 
uas it like? Uhat meaning does it 
have for us today as ue look for neu 
patterns for relationships betueen 
uomen and men? 

Bachofen and Brif 
important names. They 
evidence from their st 
ent, pre-Hellenic soci 
theorized on the cours 
evolution into civiliz 
they sau as including 
golden age, a "lost Pa 
uhich all of us have a 
ing, a homesickness, 
their theory, primordi 
eties uere characteri 
and vicious casual gro 
inant males uho used a 
females uith impunity, 
random and unregulated 
female uho rebelled ag 
state of affairs, esta 
family by gathering he 
about her, invented ag 
uhile the males uere o 
and asserted her autho 
tain the uelfare of th 
initiating food-sharin 

fault are tuo 
recorded the 
udies of anci- 
eties and 
e of human 
ation uhich 
a kind of 
radise", for 

kind of yearn- 
According to 
al human soci- 
zed by brutal 
upings of dom- 
nd abused the 
uith matings 
• It uas the 
ainst this 
blished the 
r children 
ut hunting, 
rity to main- 
e group by 
g, regulating 

sexuality, controlling property, The Children of Llyr and The Birds 
religion, knouledge and law. They of Rhiannon . In these fantasies 
cite the universal matriarchal theme u a lton describes for us how the 
in ancient Egypt (uhere Isis has "Great Change" happened historical- 
primacy over Osiris), in Africa, in ly from the time of the "ancient 
India and in Crete as uell as in harmonies" uhen women ruled and 
North America uhere the Iroquois peace, beauty and religion flourish- 
and the Navajo were especially no- ed to the times of the seizing of 
ted for the matriarchal structure power by the men. The crucial event 
of their society. Erich Fromm has uas the discovery of paternity. Un- 
praised the values of matriarchy as til men figured out hou babies got 
valuing peace, nature, religion, started, women were the all-powerful 
the community and as nurturing ad- mysterious force, the creators of 
venture and beauty. Patriarchal life. (Gloria Steinem says that 
values, for Fromm, stress individu- UO men figured it out about five 
alization, science, competition, thousand years before men did, and 
war and law-as-revenge. Bachofen that our biggest mistake was to ever 
and Sherfey agree that the matriar- i e t them know they had a part in it! ) 
chy was wholly positive and that it Nevertheless, men did learn that they 
evolved from the female reaction to played an essential part in the 
unregulated sexuality. bringing to birth of a new human be- 
ing. And then followed: instead of 

It is of especial interest that pea ce, harmony and polyandry, which 

matriarchy appears to be much better uere beneficial to all concerned, 

for the male of the species than pa- ue go t the necessity to establish 

triarchy is for the female. Without pa ternal succession, and therefore 

recapitulating the oppression of wo- virgin brides (previously unheard 

men that has been attendant on the f anc j i n most primitive societies 

dominance of the male, let me point an unthinkable delay of important 
out the benefits to males of a matri- experiences), enforced chastity of 

archy. In the fertile valleys of wives, chastity belts, clitoridec- 

the Malabar coast of southwest India tomies, sexual jealousy, rape, comp- 

a matriarchal society has survived etition and uar. The entire catas- 

into modern times. There is a high trophej In Hebreu history, also, 

level of education and literacy and one sees the emergence from matri- 

many eminent men have come from this ar chy and the uorship of Ishtar and 

region to be educated in England. abundant sexuality to patriarchy 

The uomen oun the property, inheri- anc ( the uorship of a stern Yahuey. 
tance is matrilineal and the great 

freedom of the uomen uas expressed j n fairness, let us note that 
in polyandry. Whichever of her the male ascendance also made pos- 
several husbands is in residence sible the rise of science, engineer- 
announces his presence by leaving i ng> technology and other familiar, 
his shoes outsidethe door. (In treasured, essential, mixed blessings, 
old Arabian nomadic groups, the hus- if matriarchal values are so benefi- 
band in residence thrust his staff cial to all members of the human com- 
into the ground outside the tent.) munity, uhat are our chances of re- 
I think it is significant that men constituting it? Not very good, I 
prospered and flourished in the fear. Ue cannot go home again. The 
nurturance and peace and harmony of human longing for the lost Paradise, 
that system in uhich uomen had some ancient golden age, an "Eden"-- 
economic, political and sexual con- this remains a permanent part of our 
trol. human consciousness. Uhat we can and 

must do is to try to reassert the 

Evangeline Ualton has written values, if not the institutions, that 

a trilogy based on the Uelsh epic, our mothers struggled for and won. 
the Mabinogian: Island of the Mighty , 

The remnants 
our language 
matrimony me 
marriage , su 
the female i 
tion of marr 
sign gender 
words for de 
all the qual 
human life, 

of that era remain in 
For example, the word 
ans literally mother- 
ggesting the primacy of 
n the original institu- 
iage. Patrimony means 

In languages that as- 
to abstract nouns, the 
votion , justice , peace , 
ities that embellish 
are feminine, Uhy is 

I hope that these ideas will 
encourage you to think about your- 
self and to explore some of the im- 
plications of the social changes 
that ue are going through in this 
century. Perhaps Shere Hite is 
right uhen she urites that women 
are ready to re-define sex. Ue are 
in a period of transition. Ue have 
many options. There is no reason 
uhy the standard pattern of inter- 
course should be "the old mechani- 
cal pattern" designed to meet the 
needs of the male. Uhat do women 
want? Of the 3000 women who res- 
ponded to Hite's questionnaire, five 

"I wish men would be more 
sensitive. " 

"I would like more love and 
gentleness, more emotion and com- 
munication. " 

"I'd like to change the whole 
• . .routine. " 

"I would like to be able to 
sustain sexual activity indefinite- 

"If only people would let down 
their fake fronts and be honest." 

This article has been adapted from 
a talk given to the South Suburban 
Women's Liberation Group on August 
13, 1977. 


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Boston Women' 6 Health Book CollzcXlvz, 

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and Vunlap, 7927. 
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Random HouAz, 7972. 
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by Sandto. V. DJkUakeA,?k.V. 

Self-esteem has been used to define 
an Individual's feelings of self-worth. 
It has been correlated with a wide 
variety of human behaviors, from the 
ability to give and receive love 
(Rogers and Dzmond, 1954), to the 
ability to achieve autonomy and pro- 
fessional success ( Dlckstein, 1970), 
to the development of strong interests 
(Ohlde, 1979) and even to better visual 
acuity (Veldman, 1970). 

At the same time that the benefits 
of self-esteem have been so loudly 
acclaimed, differences in the feelings 
of self -worth between the two sexes 
have been foundo Women are reported 
as having lower self-esteem than men. 
It is the intent of this article to 
show supportive evidence for sex-dif- 
ferences in self-esteem in the hope of 
shedding some light on the antecedents 
of self-esteem In women ,oe. A theor- 
etical position to improve women's 
self-esteem will be advanced. 

Although social scientists' 
original concern was not directly 
related to self-esteem, a series of 
studies by Sheriff and McKee (1957) 
led to the then startling revela- 
tion that men and women differed in 
their reported feelings of self- 
esteem. Testing traditional 
white college students, the results 
overwhelmingly showed both men and 
women assigning to men a signifi- 
cantly large number of adjectives 
previously rated by both sexes as 
being socially favorable, ar>d 
assigning to women a significantly 
large number of socially unfavor- 
able adjectives. Even more surprising 
was the finding that women were more 
negative than men about themselves 
as well as toward other women. Men's 
favorable characteristics were: 
ascendancy, independence, forcef ulness, 
unemotional ity, confidence, responsi- 

bjlity and possession of good cognitive 
processes. In contrast to these find- 
ings, women were viewed by both sexes 
as dependent, unforceful, emotional, 
irresponsible and having poor cognitive 
processes — characteristics rated by 
both sexes as socially undesirable, 

A decade later, Rosenkrantz (1968) 
confirmed these results obtained by 
Sheriff and McKee. 3oth white men 
and women considered male attributes 
to be significantly more desirable, and 
both viewed women with less regard than 
men. In addition, for the first time 
male and female stereotypes were directly 
related to the subjects' feelings of 
self-esteem. Female self-esteem 
decreased to the extent that women 
assigned to themselves the traditional 
female characteristics, and white men 
retained their higher degree of self- 
esteem to the extent that they attri- 
buted to themselves the traditionally 
masculine characteristics. 

In spite of the women's movement 
and national efforts to increase 
equality between the sexes, a large 
proportion of women believe men to 
be superior. This belief is even 
present among the very young, with 
no changes indicated between 1968 
and 1975. (Bush, 1977). 

This author, in testing white 
college students (Whitaker, 1974) 
not only found the same results, but 
was also able to manipulate male and 
female self-esteem based on assigned 
masculine and feminine characteristics. 
The subjects were led to believe that 
previous psychological testing, admin- 
istered by a Certified Psychologist, 
indicated they had a higher or lower 
proportion of masculine or feminine 
characteristics. Women told that they 
had a greater number of masculine char- 
acteristics increased their level of 
self-esteem, while men who were in- 
formed that they had a greater number 
of feminine characteristics experienced 
a decrease in self-esteem. Later on, 
during the debriefing period, when the 
subjects were told the true nature 
of the experiment, most women subjects 

expressed disappointment at not 
indeed having more masculine character- 
istics. They agreed that stereotypic 
masculine characteristics are more 
valued in our society. 

It appears that differences in 
feelings of self-worth between white 
men and women have persisted across 
time. Studies during the past decade 
have increased; different self-esteem 
measuring instruments and more sophis- 
ticated research designs have been used, 
but the results have persistently re- 
mained the same. White females have 
lower self-esteem than white males, as 
observed in childhood (Fein, 1975) 
through adulthood (Wilson and Wilson, 
1976), among different occupations 
JRoss, 1977) and even among alcoholics 
(Beckman, 1978) and drug addicts 
(Gossop, 1976). 

The evidence for sex-differences 
in self-esteem between black men and 
women, or between women members of 
different ethnic groups, is meager 
and not conclusive. The most con- 
sistent, as well as surprising re- 
sults have been that black females 
have higher self-esteem than white fe- 
males. (Simmons, 1977 & 1978K An 
investigation conducted at Governors 
State University ( Whitaker, 1976) 
comparing the self-esteem of black, 
white and latino women, showed the 
self-esteem of black women slightly 
higher than that of white women. Both 
black and white women had a significant- 
ly higher self-esteem than the latino 
women. These findings pose serious 
questions regarding the development 
of self-esteem in women. 

Social scientists have follow- 
ed two main lines of thought in explain- 
ing the development of self-esteem, 
citing the individual's sense of compe- 
tency or the relationship with one's 
parents. The most popular theory 
of the origins of self-esteem is 
advanced by Coopersmith ( 1967) in 
his pioneering studies on the devel- 
opment of self-esteem in boys. He 
found boys' feelings of self-esteem 
to be based on their perception of 
what their fathers thought of them. 


Interestingly enough, the boys' 
perception of what their mothers 
thought of them was not found rele- 

As in most areas of psychology, 
the focus was on males, and the inter- 
est in females has only been of recent 
concern. Investigations of the devel- 
opment of self-esteem in girls has not 
produced conclusive results. Some 
authors (Dickstein, 1978) attribute 
self-esteem in girls to the mother- 
daughter relationship, while others 
(Loeb, 1978) think both parents shape 
the girl's self-esteem. The mother- 
daughter hypothesis loses strength 
in the face of other related evidence. 
Women's achievement and self-esteem 
are reported to have a positive 
correlation (Primavera, 1974); while, 
on the other hand, women who achieve 
are reported to have rejected their 
mothers. (Bardwick, 1971). Neither 
explains the significant differences 
in self-esteem between men and 

A more obvious explanation would 
be that parents, as members of our 
society, reflect the beliefs of the 
society in which they live. These 
bel ief s are transmitted to their 
children, who in turn develop atti- 
tudes based on a common belief system. 
As clearly documented in this paper, 
our society upholds male superiority. 
It also values more the masculine 
roles and all the personality charac- 
teristics believed needed to perform 
these roles. •"• istorical ly, mascu- 
linity has been associated with 
competency and the ability to better 
survive in this world. Variations of 
self-esteem in women would then depend 
on the extent to which they perceive 
themselves as having, or being able to 
have, the highly prized masculine 

This "masculinity" position ex- 
plains more research findings than any 
other position offered concerning the 
development of self-esteem in women. 
It explains existing sex-differences 
in self-esteem, as well as the differ- 
ences observed between black, white 

and latino women. It can also be used 
to explain experimental changes in 
self-esteem produced in both men and 

As mentioned earlier in this paper, 
men and women have experienced changes 
In self-esteem based on information given 
by a credible source regarding the 
masculine characteristics they possess 
(Whi taker, 1976). Contrary to popular 
belief that women should be pleased 
to have more feminine than masculine 
characteristics, it has been clearly 
established that "feminine" males 
have lower self-esteem than "masculine" 
females. "Masculine" males are also 
reported as having higher self-esteem 
than "feminine" males (Sappenf ield, 
1975). In short, "masculinity" in both 
sexes, has been clearly shown to have 
a significantly high correlation with 
self-esteem (Antill and Cunningham, 1979), 

Based on the evidence presented, 
the position is advanced that self- 
esteem is an attitude, an opinion, a 
predisposition towards the self 
which is dependent on each individual's 
belief system, Women who perceive 
themselves as an extension of the 
important men in their lives, or 
who believe their function in life 
is to serve and be protected by others, 
would of necessity, have a lower opin- 
ion of themselves than women who do 
not hold these beliefs. This author's 
comparative study between black, white 
and latino women reflects this position. 
Latino women, who have shown signifi- 
cantly lower self-esteem than black 
and white w omen, have been taught to 
believe they are an extension of their 
families and the important men in 
their lives. White women share some 
of these beliefs, but not to the same 
extent as the latino women. Black 
women, reported as having higher self- 
esteem than white women, have been 
taught to believe they are responsible 
for their own survival and frequently 
for the survival of their families. 

Viewed as an attitude, self-esteem 
is learned and subject to change. 
Therapeutic approaches to change women's 
self-esteem ought to focus on cognitive 

processes to change their traditional 
beliefs; however, behavioral and affec- 
tive aspects should not be discounted,, 
Women should be rewarded in their attempts 
to display "masculine characteristics" 
leading to success in our society while 
providing them with the needed emotional 
support o Given the recognition for 
change, one should be aware of two pos- 
sible barriers women must overcome in 
acquiring a new identity: the anxiety, 
produced by internal conflicts and the 
lag between a change in beliefs and 
resultant behaviors, and actual percep- 
tion of the self as a new identity. 

Once women are able to accept 
their new identity, the wide gap in 
self-esteem between the sexes should 
decrease. Women would then become 
happier and more productive individuals 
in their professional as well as 
traditional roles. 


AntHl, Jo and Cunningham, J. Sell-esteem 
as a lunctlon ol masculinity in 
both. sexes. Journal ol Consulting 
6 Clinical Psychology^ 47 (7979) 

Barawick, J e M. Psychology ol Womzn* 
A Study o I Bio-Cultural tonUUctS. 
Harper S Row. New Yorko 797/. 

Bush, V.E , Simmons, R.E. and Hutch- 
inson, Bo Adolescent Perception ol 
Sex Role* in 196% and 7975 Public 
Opinion Quarterly. 41 (1977) 459-474. 

Coopersmith, S c The Ant< oj 
Sell Esteem* freeman Press, San 
Francisco 1967. 

Vlcksterin, E.B. and Hardy, B. Autonomy 
and Moral Behavior in College. Men 
and Women, Journal ol Gene£te 
Psychology. 134. [1M9] 57-55 
sex v^i^erences in Pxe.-AdoleAce.nt 
Sell- esteem. 

feln, V., O'NeUU, S. Journal ol 
Psychology. 90. ( 7975) 779-753. 

Gossop, M. Vrug Vzpe.nde.nce. and Sell- 
Esteem. International J ournal ol 
the. Addictions. 11 [1976] 747-753. 

Ohlde, C. Relationship between Sell- 
esteem and Response Style. Journal 
ol Counseling Psyc hology . 26 ( 7979} 

Rogers, C.R. and Vxmond, R.F. (EcfiJ 
Ps ychotherapu and PeAS onality Chang e : 
Coordinated <tn the Client- 
Cent.en.ed Approach. Chicago. University 
o& Chicago Press, 7954. 

Rosenkrantz, P., Mogel, S., Bee, H. 
and Broverman, P.M. Six Ro£e 
Stereotypes and Sell-concepts, 
In College Students. Journal ol 
Consulting and Clinical Psychology. 
32 (796S) 2S7-295. 

Ross, hi. P. female and Physician: A 
Sex-Role Incongruity. Journal ol 
Medical Education. 52 ( 7977) 345-346. 

Sappenfiield, B.R. and Harris, C.L. 
Sell reported mascullnity- 
leminlnity as related to sell-esteem. 
Psychological Reports. 37 ( 7975) 

Sherill, A.C. and McKee, J. P. Qualitative 
aspects ol battels about men and women. 
Journal ol Person ality . 25 (7957) 

Simmons, R.G. The Impact ol Junior 
High School and Puberty upon Sell- 
esteem, paper presented at the 
biennial Meeting ol the Society 
lor Research In Child Development. 
New Orleans, Louisiana, March, 7977. 



by CoaoI Lofavia, Pk,V : 

A profound change in the way wonen 
view themselves, make their choices, 
shape their lives, relate to others, 
and develop their identity has been 
going on in our society—a change that 
has accelerated rapidly in the last 
decade and a half. In this article 
some important elements in that change, 
and in unequal rates of change in 
different aspects of our culture and 
lives, will be examined in terms of 
both the new possibilities and the 
new vulnerabilities they create for 
the personal growth of women. The 
experiences of a group of homemakers 
who returned to school in the late 
sixties will be considered as a 


particularly clear example of the 
potential and the stresses present 
in women's changing position (LeEevre 
1971, 1972, 1975). Specifically, 
the differences between an ascribed 
identity based on having, and an 
earned identity based on being, will 
be explored. 

As more and more women of all 
ages seek higher education and com- 
mitted careers, questions concerning 
the fit between sex role socialization 
and the norms of higher level occupa- 
tions become particularly salient, 
When young men are socialized into a 
professional role, they are implement- 

ing their sex role identity in their 
work identity. But women are moving 
away from a strongly sex-typed 
identity ascribed on the basis of 
biology and relationship to a non- 
sexually defined work identity based 
on training and proved capacity. The 
author interviewed a total of 35 re- 
turning women graduate students, one 
group about to enter graduate school , 
one group approaching comprehensive 
examinations, and one group near 
graduation. Students were followed 
up approximately nine months later 
and again five years later. These 
women entered graduate school because 
they wished to escape from, or find 
replacements for, their homemaker— 
chil drear ing roles, and they chose to 
prepare for roles which would provide 
valued intellectual growth, profession- 
al colleagueship, and an opportunity 
to make a useful contribution to society. 
As they moved through graduate school 
and into professional work, most grew 
markedly in confidence, autonomy, and 
ego strength, and a substantial minority 
described a more profound expansion 
of self and richness of experience. As 
one woman said of her graduate school 

I got so involved it has made a 
whole new person out of me, to 
the point that my children giggle 
at me that I can be this excited 
about something. I don't know 
but that there has been a whole 
personality change. I find I can 
do so much more and my stamina has 
increased. I have so much more 
interest in everybody else's work 
as a result. It's a renewal, it 
truly is. 

How can this sense of excitement 
and growth be understood? No doubt 
part of it is the new-found freedom 
to develop and express cherished aspects 
of the self which had lain dormant 
during years of childrearing. The 
intellectual stimulation was also 
very important. Haslow once suggested 
that many women were ill from failure 
to use their intelligence (Maslow 
1970), and the increased stamina noted 
in the quotation above does suggest 

the lifting of depression. Novelty 
no doubt played a part, and other 
factors could be cited as well. But 
let us move to a consideration of the 
part played by the shift from an 
ascribed identity based on having a 
relationship to an identity earned 
through being an autonomous, compe- 
tent, highly trained individual. 

As wives, mothers, and homemakers 
these women had been identified pri- 
marily in terms of having a husband, 
having children, and having a 
properly furnished home. Who they were, 
depended upon whom they belonged to, 
and who belonged to them; the sources 
of their identity came from outside 
themselves. Though they might have 
many skills, they were likely to gain 
little respect or recognition for them. 
Rather, they were expected to respond 
to others' feelings, fulfill others' 
needs, and gain their satisfaction 
vicariously through others' accomplish- 
ments. The culture made a virtue of 
their selflessness in caring for their 
families. It is significant that the 
term "selflessness" carries not only 
the moral connotation of unselfishness 
but also the psychological meaning of 
being literally "without a self". The 
rather anguished statement of one re- 
turning student expresses this dual 

I always taught (the children) to 
read before school . I taught them 
French. I've always taken them on 
nature trips, taken them to the art 
galleries..,, the complete support 
a child gets when he runs in from 
school and mother is always there... 

I had reached the end of my rope 
in fulfilling the role of wife 
and homemaker. That was zero there 
and I had to develop a new identity. 
I had to do something to assert 
myself as a person or I would have 
become emotionally ill. The basis 
of my life had somehow passed and 
I really felt empty. 

This woman had given herself com- 
pletely to her family, developing her 
children's capacities and assisting her 


husband's career. Having lived as a 
reflection of them, there was little 
substance remaining to her own exis- 
tence when they had gone. In taking 
responsibility for others she had 
neglected to take responsibility 
for herself. She had no identity 
apart from them. 

The kind of identity which comes 
through graduate training and a pro- 
fession, on the other hand, is earned 
through hard work, years of education, 
the expansion of knowledge and skill, 
in short, through developing competence. 
In discussing his concept of identity 
Erikson (1959) says, 

Man... must acquire. ..habitual use 
of a dominant faacuJtty, to be elab- 
orated in an occupation', a limitless 
-teiouAce, a feedback... from the 
immediate exeAcuc of this occupa- 
tion, from the companionship it 
provides, and from its tradition. . 
(italics in the original) 

Whether or not Erikson really included 
women when he spoke of "man," it is 
clear that he believes that sociali- 
zation into a skilled occupation and 
work within the occupational group are 
highly significant for the full devel- 
opment of identity. No small part of 
that significance derives from the 
recognition and confirmation by work 
peers of the legitimacy of the indi- 
vidual ' s claims to competence, belong- 
ing, and a valued social and vocational 
identity. Many of the graduate women 
cited the importance to them of both 
their own growing sense of expertise 
developed through graduate study and 
the positive recognition of their 
abilities by peers and mentors. One 
woman who, in her identity as the wife 
of a prominent man, had felt ineffective 
and unrecognized as a member of chari- 
table boards said, 

I need this particular background 
to give myself an opportunity 
for expression. And I think it's 
building up my confidence in the 
fact that I have something to 
express and reason to express it G 
I am also seeing myself in rela- 


tionship to other students and 
I am seeing my professors react 
to me, so I have a sounding board 
I didn't have before. This is 
reinforcing and supporting. 

With this recognition and feed- 
back she is coming to believe that 
she has something to say on her own 
that is worth listening to. 

This issue of whether or not 
one has something worthwhile to offer 
is important for women, and reflects 
one of the points at which women must 
overcome their sex-role socialization 
if they are to actualize their full 
potential . A number of research 
studies (Mischel 1974, Etaugh & Rose 
1975, Goldberg 1968) document the 
lower valuation given by both sexes 
to work presumed to have been pro- 
duced by women. Over and over again 
the women in this study expressed 
their uncertainty about the worth of 
their ideas and their right to express 
them, an uncertainty still being ex- 
pressed by many women today. Even 
women with considerable leadership 
experience have frequently exercised 
that function only with other women,, 
Their professional socialization 
must, therfore, include opportunities 
to perform and receive feedback from 
men as well as women. Yet precisely 
because they are less likely to have 
had this kind of opportunity and 
recognition earlier, the experience 
of receiving it can be particularly 
significant and self-enhancing to 
women. After a year of functioning 
in seminars and coming to feel more 
competent and forceful, the woman 
quoted above told the interviewer: 

I had to deliver a resume to the 
board and I wowed them. And all 
the big people— I didn't have 
one bit of fear. I don't care 
what their reaction is. 

In fact "wowing" them gave her self- 
esteem and confidence a tremendous boost. 
At this point the virtues of Erikson 's 
pre-identity stages seemed to be 
coming together for her — trust in 
herself and others, the autonomy to 

will and do for herself, the initia- 
tive to conceive a project, and the 
competence to carry it out. She 
sums up her growing sense of identity 
tfhen she says, 

I am in the process of achieving 
something I felt was missing or 
necessary for my full development. 
This is the surprise, a sense of 
autonomy. This great sense of 

In her own thinking she is no longer 
functioning as her husband's shadow, 
but as a person who has earned her own 
identity and right to speak and be 
heard. With this new sense of herself 
has come a new conviction and forceful- 
ness in her behavior which now leads 
other people to listen to her and 
respect what she has to offer. 

But women may need some very 
specific training as they emerge from 
the shadow if they are to stand firmly 
on their own feet. The author recent- 
ly observed a young female seminary 
student make a presentation in church. 
Her toes were turned inward, her knee 
bent as she spoke in a little-girl 
voice. Though her words were adult 
and professional, her body language 
and voice sent an all -too-clear 
conflicting message: "Don't judge 
me as a responsible grown-up; I am 
only a little girl." Her childlike 
stance is one of the many unconscious 
ways in which females learn to express 
tentativeness and deference and 
disclaim responsibility for their 
actions. Her double message reflects 
not only a lack of awareness of the 
impact of her actions but also a real 
temptation and conflict experienced 
by many women as they move out into 
more exposed roles. While the 
traditional female roles could be 
constricting and have often prevented 
the full development of personhood, 
there was safety and security in 
standing in the shadow. Two of the 
graduate women suffered severe loss 
of self-esteem when they failed their 
comprehensive examinations; the 
scars were still visible at the 
follow-up study five years later. 

Another woman was not entirely unambiv- 
alent at returning to private life and 
independent research when she failed 
to receive tenure after six years of 
university teaching. Women who once 
saw only opportunity in storming male 
bastions are finding themselves nostal- 
gic for the positive values of a 
once-scorned female role, and tempted 
by the possibility of retreat from the 
challenges and hazards of their new 
life. Taking real responsibility 
for themselves requires a careful exam- 
ination of their own feelings, values, 
and options within a life-span perspec- 
tive, and making realistic choices 
to implement their short-and long-range 

Whatever personal and professional 
goals women choose, they are discover- 
ing that the tentative, deferent styles 
they have learned as women do not foster 
autonomy or equality. As she consoli- 
dated her position in the professional 
world another graduate said; 

I have stopped hesitating to assert 
my confidence and authority. I 
used to be very diffident about 
this, but I found that if I didn't 
assert myself I was in danger of 
being pushed around, not even inten- 
tionally. So as time went on I 
stopped deferring. Because I dis- 
covered it gets you nowhere. When 
I saw they didn't take this as 
surface politeness I changed. It's 
made things go much, much better. 

A number of women reported learning 
to express themselves more directly 
and assertively. As they do so, women 
experience themselves more fully as 
agents acting in their own lives. 

Why is this change in expressive 
style so important to the establishment 
of equal relationships and full identi- 
ty? Anthropologist Quinn (1977) specu- 
lates that the greater verbal aggressive- 
ness of males (Maccoby and Jack! in 1974) 
may be an important factor in male 
dominance and leadership, and several 
recent research studies suggest how it 
may operate. Women use more tentative 


language (Fishman 1975, Parlee 1979), 
ask far more questions and initiate 
more topics in heterosexual conversa- 
tion, but only male-initiated topics 
are reguarly followed by discussion,, 
Men frequently interrupted women (but 
not the reverse) and women tended to 
greater silence following interruptions 
(West and Zimmerman 1977). Other 
studies involving authority figures 
of both sexes suggest that these speech 
patterns are verbal politics, exhibitions 
of dominance and deference (Parlee 1979). 
Women simply will not get their fair 
share of time and influence in conver- 
sation if they follow the typical fe- 
male patterns. Further, direct, asser- 
tive (differentiate from abrasive) 
behavior empowers the person using 
it. It carries authority because it 
requires acknowledging authorship. 
Indirect, deferent communication stems 
from, and confirms, a position of 
weakness, often utilizes manipula- 
tion, and disguises resentment. It 
does not make for healthy, trust- 
worthy relationships. The style of 
communication is both formative of, 
and expressive of the person's 

Women now seem to be moving in 
the direction of attempting to bring 
together the best of both worlds — 
the caring and closeness of relation- 
ships and the being that comes from 
recognized competence and achievement. 
As women become more able to stand on 
their own feet, earn their own way, 
take responsibility for their own 
feelings, goals, and actions, and 
communicate honestly and directly, 
men too will be freed from a great 
burden of responsibility for, superi- 
ority to, and wariness of the subordin- 
ate, deferent, but non-responsible, 
manipulative, resentful woman. 


Entkson, Entk /H; The Pnoblem o^ Ego 
Identity, p 1 10 In EnJJi H. Erikson, 
Identity and the Lqfe Cycle, 
Ps ychologlcal fe jtiea , Vol I, Wo J, 
Monograph 7, 7959. 

Etaugh, Claire & Rose, Suzanne.. 

Adolescents' Sex Slas in the Evalu- 
ation ojj Per^onmance. Ve.veJLopme.ntal 
Psychology 11, 5, 663-664 (1975). 

Eishrrian, Pamela. Interaction: The. Wonk 
Women Vo. Paper presented at The 
American Sociological Association 
Annual Meetings, San Vnjancisco , CA. 
August 25-30, 7975. 

Goldberg. P. A. Are Women Prejudiced 
Against Women? Transaction 5, 
28-30 (796$). 

Le.Ee.vfie., Carol 8. Tfie Mixture Woman As 
Graduate Students A Study oft 
Changing Selfi-conceptlons. unpubtis hed 
doctoral dissertation. University o£ 
Chicago. 7977. 

Le.Ee.vne., Canal. The Mature Woman as 
Graduate. Student <, School SO, 
2, 281-297 (7972). 

LeFevre, Canal. Unpublished £ollou)-up 
study. 1975. 

Maccoby, E.E. S Jacklin, C.N. The. 
Psychology o 6 Sex VlUerences. 
Stanford: Stanford University Press 

Maslou), Abraham H. Motivation and 
Personality. New York: H arper and 
Row, Publishers. Stcond edition. 
1970. p. 49. 

Mischel, U.N. Six Kias in the 

Evaluation o& Pro Sessional Achieve- 
ments. Journal ol Educational 

Psychology 66, 75; 


Parlee, Mary Brom c 

Politics. Psychology Today 
48-56 {May, 1919) . 

Quinn, Naomi. Anthropological Studies 
on Women's Status. Annual Review 
o£ Anthropology 6, 181-225 (7977) 

West, Candace a Uxmerman, Von H. 
Women's Place in Everyday Talk: 
Reflections on Parent-child Inter- 
action. Social Problems 24, 
5, 527-529 [1911). ' 



by TqaaI Vnjoaz-Sdmajvtz 

UnlveAA>uty ?xo^z&6ok o^ Phychology 

The topic of motherhood as an area 
of psychological interest has until 
recently received little attention,. 
That the bearing and nurturing of young 
infants is a source of pleasure and 
gratification is a mythic tenet of our 
culture. Despite the prevalence of 
this view, or perhaps because of it, 
psychologists and especially feminist 
psychologists have not approached 
this area in much detail. The suggestion 
that motherhood may initiate (signal) 
a developmental advance has barely 
been raised within the recent psycho- 
logical I iterature. 

When mothers and mothering have 
been discussed by psychologists, it 
has been primarily in reference either 
to the adequacy with which infants 
are nurtured, or to the long- lasting 
effects of the mother's behavior and 
attitudes on her older and adult 
children. But there is another 
approach, especially relevant in 
the literature of psycho I oana lytic 
psychology, which provides a start- 
ing point for this discussion,. The 
transmission of presumed sex- 
appropriate attributes, including 
the wish to mother, has been an 
important theme in that I iterature,, 
A major feminist work on the sub- 
ject 1 provides an advanced under- 
standing, within the psychoanalytic 
perspective, of the origin and 
transmission of interest in and 
ability to mother. However, such 
a study of mothering stops short. 
In considering mothering behavior, 
we have only looked at its effect on 
chi I dren. Psychologists have not asked 
about the impacts of this new repetoire 
of affects, experiences and behaviors 
on the woman herself, except in her 
role as mother. 

This article presents a perspective 
from which a feminist psychology may 
look at motherhood to ask other ques- 
tions. After sketching a context 
within which our current neglect of 
this area may be viewed, I wi 1 1 suggest 
ideas that may be learned by asking 
about .the benefits of motherhood in a 
different way. 

I will begin by giving a brief 
overview of how mothering is seen In 
traditional psychoanalytic psychology. 
Secondly, I will present ideas about 
the psychology of men and, especially, 
the psychology of psychoanalysts to 
provide a lens through which traditional 
thoughts can be viewed. From there I 
plan to take a look at women's approach 
to work, to relationships and to the 
people they care about, to see what can 
be learned about the people who are 
mothers. Finally, if this journey is 
successful, I will present ideas 
about the study of motherhood that 
are radical, feminist and — the final 


test of its value — ring true in the 
experience of those women who have 
borne and raised children,, I consider 
this work to be "re-search" of the 
sort that Mary Daly 2 has taught us. 
It is travelling freshly over ground 
assumed to be charted, known and of 
little continuing interest. 

Motherhood and Mothering in The 
Tradition of Psychoanalytic Psy- 

The topic of motherhood has re- 
ceived little attention in the 
literature of psychoanalysis,, Freud's 
general tendency to bypass questions 
about the specific course of libidinal 
development in little girls, and his 
admission of psychoanalysis' essential 
ignorance of the psychology of women 
are we 1 1 -known. Horney3 in 1926, 
expressed "amazement" that psycho- 
analytic accounts of women's eventual 
achievement of an adult, genital 
organization could leave out motherhood 
as a form of instinctual gratification. 
The theory that pregnancy and child- 
bearing are motivated out of the woman's 
unresolved envy of the male, and the 
"penis = child" equation has been large- 
ly supplanted. Ego-psychology, in 
which primacy is given to the girl's 
love for, and Idntif i cat ion with her 
mother is the more prevalent view in 
analytic thought today. 

Psychoanalytic ego-psychology 
places a major emphasis on the nature 
of the mother- infant dyad as the locus 
for experiences crucial to the infant's 
psychic well-being. It is noteworthy 
that by and large the major accounts 
of this relationship place major emphasis 
on the contribution of the mother and 
the experience of the child. Little 
attention is paid to the experience 
of the woman within the dyad. 

Most recent psychoanalytic dis- 
cussions of mothering have attempted 
to explain women's behavior with their 
young infants as evidencing a regression 
to early forms of object relations 
which are archaic and psychotic- 1 ike ,4 
although they co-exist with continuing 
mature object relations. It has been 


left implicit in such accounts, that 
extreme deviations from normal, adult 
functioning must be invoked to account 
for a mother's ability to sensitively 
respond to the needs of a non-verbal, 
demanding infant, and that the grati- 
fications derived from such ministering 
reflect a regressed ego. 

Embedded within this view is the 
assumption that a healthy "adult" ego 
would not find pleasure in what may 
appear from the outside to be a 
virtual submergence of one's own needs 
in the service of another person. Such 
an assumption it seems, is not far 
removed from Victorian conceptions of 
the Mother as one whose "unselfish life 
of sacrifice and devotion calls forth 
profound expressions of man's inherent 
love„.. H 5 The implication that a woman 
must renounce a portion of her adult 
status in order to successfully mother, 
is rife in psychoanalytic conceptions 
of motherhood. Often these views of 
motherhood require a "transformation" 
of passive needs to be cared for, into 
an active need to give. 6 

It seems that traditional psycho- 
analysis has viewed motherhood as a 
sacrifice: a reversal in development 
which allows a woman to partake vicar- 
iously from a lesser state, in the 
wished-for mastery over the world 
which is symbolized in her envy of 
the penis. 

The Psychology of Psychoanalysis 

In order to understand the psychic 
origins of these conceptions of mother- 
hood; i.e., sacrificial regression 
and substitution for male potency, I 
will turn to the contribution that 
Jean Baker Miller has made toward our 
knowledge of male psycho logy. 7 In her 
account of the Impact of dominant/ 
subordinate relationships and their 
effects of men's and women's psyches, 
Miller points out several issues thai- 
are related to the unconscious deter- 
minants of psychoanalytic thought. 

Miller notes that in any relation- 
ship between dominants and subordinates, 

be they individuals, races or cultural 
groups, certain distasteful functions 
are relegated to the sphere of the 
subordinate group. In the case of men 
and women, she says that problems of 
weakness, vulnerability, and dependency 
are seen as shameful remnants of child- 
hood which men struggle to master and 
assign to the devalued group: to women. 
This life-long denial of a significant 
portion of human needs leads to the 
fear that any response to the attrac- 
tions of object relations carries with 
it the threat of reduction to "some 
undifferenitated mass or state ruled 
by weakness, emotional attachment and/ 
or passion" and ultimately a loss 
of manhood (7, p. 23). 

That such functions are relegated 
to women is a consequence of our 
subordinate status; later the fact 
that women are particularly associated 
with the realm of weakness ( vulnerabil- 
ity, attachment, nurturance) becomes 
a justification of our continued 

This same dynamic, the avoidance 
of vulnerability, which leads men 
to view as threatening those situations 
where feelings of dependency are primary, 
can explain how it is that mothering 
behavior, an intense relationship with 
an apparently helpless person, is seen 
as a regression from adult ego function- 
ing. Miller's account of the psycholo- 
gy of dominant people tells us that 
for them reciprocal /cooperative relation- 
ships mean "somehow to lose something 
or at best, altrustical ly, to give 
something away."S If this is a 
basic unconscious belief within male 
culture, then we can see that the 
painful dynamics of the battlefield, 
with the underlying maxim of ' if I win 
you must lose,' may influence the 
concepts of male-dominated fields — 
including psychoanalysis. 

In the particular instance of 
motherhood, we can see that for some- 
one who truly believes that reciprocity 
implies "giving up" something, the 
sight of a nursling's ultimate bliss 
must immediately and forcefully suggest 
that someone has "lost". It is not hard 

to realize that an explanation of 
motherhood created by a group holding 
these unconscious beliefs must include 
a rationalization for sacrifice. The 
only dynamic that, in this world view 
could explain providing such pleasure 
to someone else, is one of willing 
sacrifice — martyrdom or (in analytic 
parlance) feminine masochism. 


Miller has told us something about 
how vulnerability and dependency 
appear to a dominant group which 
repudiates such feelings in its 
cultural norms, if not in each indi- 
vidual. She has also addressed how 
these same feelings are understood by 
the subordinate group — those who have 
been assigned the task of knowing 


about, experiencing and responding 
within nurturing relationships. 
Women, she says, are the "carriers" 
of these devalued functions for the 
culture as a whole. Certainly this 
role has led to difficulties for 
many women: for example, the belief 
that by performing nurturant func- 
tions one assures the continuing 
love of those nurtured. However, 
there are certain special strengths 
which women derive from this life- 
long familiarity with dependency,. 
Primary among these is the "insight 
that events are important and satis- 
fying only if they occur within 
the context of emotional relatedness."9 
Women have not, by and large, internal- 
ized these 'battlefield' assumptions,, 
Cooperation, for women, is seen as 
a growth process for all participants 
and does not imply that anything is 
lost or given away. 

The view that women bring to 
nurturing relationships is one 
distinctly lacking in the fear that 
to assist in another's growth means 

loss of adulthood or an increase in 
one's own vulnerability. Instead, 
the opportunity to observe, participate 
in and assist in another's change is 
seen as the interpersonal counterpart 
of creativity and personal growth. 
Women know that meaningful personal 
growth cannot occur in isolation. 
Thus the bi -polarity embedded in 
cultural assumptions that define 
cooperation as "give-and-take" can 
be replaced with a texture of reci- 
procity better described as "give- 
and-give o "70 If we look at mother- 
child relationships with this 
particularly female viewpoint, a 
new perspective emerges. 

A Feminist View of Motherhood 

Feminist scholarship can be de- 
fined as work which asks scholarly 
questions from a view as uniquely 
female as traditional scholarship 
has been male. When such a perspective 
has been turned to the experience 
of motherhood, a distinctly new 
question has to be asked. In contrast 
to the psychoanalytic dilemma: (why 
and how does a woman give up her 
adulthood to enter a nearly psychotic 
relationship with her newborn?) femin- 
ists must ask about the readiness 
to achieve an integrated experience 
in which another's growth can be 
fostered without experiencing 
personal loss. 

The transcendance of what Jane 
Flax has called the "nurturance 
autonomy conflict"?! has been a 
central conflict for feminists. To 
the extent that feminist women have 
adopted the male concept that nurtur- 
ance and interpersonal relatedness 
must oppose individual achievement, 
and to the degree that our experience 
in the present culture reinforces 
that view,/ 2 we have been unable 
to see that there may be no conflict. 
If feminist thinkers adhere to the 
female knowledge that meaningful 
personal growth requires an inter- 
personal context, it would be 
impossible for statements like 
"motherhood is irrelevant to feminism- 
si nee plenty of people are making 
babies, there will always be enough" 
to be made. 

Of course, the actual state of 
being a mother may not be relevant 
to many feminists. To the degree 
that our achievements and livelihoods 
must be made in a male-dominated soci- 
ety, we may not be able to choose 
mothering a child of our own. But 
to reject thinking about motherhood 
is to reject an important source of 
knowledge about women's way of 
growing and relating. 


A feminist perspective on mothering 
allows us to observe a nursing pair 
and ask "what is new for the woman in 
that experience?" not, "why has that 
woman given up her adulthood to nurture 
infants?"., We need to consider that 
birthing and living with a newborn 
may be an opportunity for development 
rather than a loss of mastery To 
consider this possibility requires 
that we think about the topic neither 
as would fathers or daughters, but as 
women and mothers. 

To do so, is surely a risk. Too 
many times women have been told by 
male writers that mothering is our 
ultimate fulfillment — with the 
unspoken implication that household 
drudgery and loss of adult achieve- 
ments must follow. If we hear the 
proposition that mothering may lead 
to growth, by adopting the fathers* 
perspective we may fall victim to 
the fallacy I have described: the 
belief that nurturance itself 
requires loss of independent mastery 
and adult status. In another way, 
from our experience as daughters 
we may, reject this idea out of rage 
over generations of women's sacri- 
fices and the fear of repeating 
those sacrifices. 

If, however, we can look at 
motherhood neither as fathers nor 
as daughters, but as feminist 
mothers would, we may find that 
motherhood is the prime model for 
what I have called "woman's way." 
Approaching the study of motherhood 
free of the assumption that 
nurturance equals loss allows us 
to initiate a feminist study of 

In such an inquiry we may 
consider the hypothesis that a 
uniquely female growth occurs in 
the experience of mothering a 
newborn. Undoubtedly, the 
opportunities for expression of 
that growth have been nullified by 
the sacrifices imposed on mothers 
by the society, but our scholarship 
permits us to see the two separately 
and to discover what capacities 

in a woman are opened up in the process 
of birthing and nurturing an infant. 

Patriarchal theories portray 
the wish for a child as resignation, 
sacrifice and substitution. In them 
a woman's pleasure with her young 
infant must be seen as regression 
away from individuality and mastery. 
A feminist view in contrast, asks 
what propels us to wish for babies 
when we are little girls and more 
importantly, what we gain as women 
when we bear and nurture them. 

Nancy Chodorow's landmark work, 
The Reproduction of Mothering gives 
a thorough and feminist account of 
the dynamic forces that lead women to 
acquire gender-specific qualities, 
especially those related to mothering. 
What remains for a feminist psychology 
is to inquire about the impact that 
the mothering experience may have 
on women's capacities for relatedness 
in general. New insights or self- 
perceptions that can be turned to 
the general experiences of achieve- 
ment in interpersonal contexts may 
result. What is proposed here is 
that the study of mothers — not as 
evaluations of caregivers, but as 
observations of women through 
their involvement in a uniquely 
female relationship—may teach us 
more about women's particular 
capacities that have importance 
beyond our ability to create and 
nurture new generations. 


7. ChodoKow, Nancy: The Reproduction 
o& Motkesiingo Univ. oA Cat. Press, 

2. Valy, Many: Gynf ecology; The 
Heta Ethic* oj Radical remlnism, 
Beacon Press, 797*. 

3. Homey, Karen: The Light from 
Womanhood In feminine Psychology 
Norton, 7967. 

4. Wlnnlcott, V, Primary Maternal 
Preoccupation <n iherapeuttc 
Consultation* In Child Psychiatry 
Basic Book&, 7977. 

Blbrlng, G. "Some Considerations 






o$ the Psychological Process 

in Pregnancy, Psa. Stud. Child 14, 


cited in J. BeAnaAd, The. VixtxxAe oX 
MotheAhood: Penguin Books, 7975,p 5 
"~BTnea r eF^~T . Mothenhood & NuAtuAing 
in Anthony 6 3 enedek: Parenthood: 
Its Psychology & Psychopathology, 
LitXJLe >.BHow ii Co , Boston, 1970,p o 153. 

HUleA, J.B., Touwtd a Mew P^j/c/toi- 
QQy o& Women, Beacon Press, 1976. 
luJZeA, Op cit p. 42 

VJUULeA, op cct -p. 39. 

10. Close. observation 0|J motheA infant 
pairs does shou) a reciprocal 
signaling system in u)hich both 
motheA and baby are active. partici- 
pants. See. SteAn, Daniel. The. ViASt 
Relationship. Harvard UniveASity 
YreSS. 1977. 

11. flax, Jane., The. Con^tict Between 
NuAtanance and Autonomy in MotheA 
daughter Relationship and Within 
T-eminism. feminist Studies 4 (2) 

11 o By its lack ofa adequate day-care, 
fJo/L example* 




By Pam Rebeck, Ph.D. 

Bonnie A. Rudolph, Ph.D, 

All people, regardless of age, 
sex, or level of achievement experience 
stress; however the degree and kind of 
stress vary among individuals and r 
circumstances. Change is a key factor 
which lies at the root of stress. 
Contemporary life is different from 
other points in human history because 
of the vast expansion of upheaval. 
People today engage routinely in 
buying and discarding products; they 
adapt to domiciliary change, career 
and employment moves and to new 
people. The future of family and 
marriage, as well as friendships has 
an air of impermanence. 

Besides physical transience, 
individual commitment to intellectual, 
affective, religious and social values 
often shift throughout the life span. 
In addition, the pace of life has 
accelerated radically. The tempo of 
our daily activities affects not only 
the way we feel about the world and 
ourselves, but also affects our 

Some people revel in the rapid 
tempo of contemporary life and others 
are repelled by the "rat race." (Selye 
1974). To survive, and certainly to 
compete in our complex technological 
society means to participate in a 
world moving faster than ever before. 
Those people who are committed to the 
accelerated pace prefer numerous 
stimulating social and professional 
engagements, prefer to travel, and 
prefer to be upwardly and onwardly 
mobile. These people tend to live 
faster than the rest of humankind; 
they tend to be better educated and 
to be more affluent. (Toffler, 1970) 
Such is the circumstance surrounding 
a person who is a high achiever. 
There is an inordinate amount of stress 
inherent in being a high achieving 
person, irrespective of the sex of 
such an individual. When a high 
achiever is female the stress is 

There are several variables that 
contribute to an intense level of 
stress in high achieving women. One 
contributing factor is that such a 
woman engages in transitions to roles 
different from those to which she 
was socialized. Commitment to a 
career normally takes place during 
the same period in which less career 
motivated women become homemakers 
and help husbands and children to 
realize their life goals. Women striv- 
ing to accomplish a nontraditional 
goal have to confront their own social- 
ization patterns advocating the woman's 
identity and life style as a caretaker. 
Pressure to procreate in accordance 
with the traditional family time frame 
may need to be confronted. Additionally, 
the high achieving woman must balance 
the need for intimacy with the need for 
achievement. The management of busy 
schedules, often including travel, 
stresses any relationship she may 
develop. Once these issues are confront- 
ed, there remains the environmental 
problem of limited availability of 
stimulating partners who are not 
threatened by a high achieving woman. 

An additional variable contribut- 
ing to stress in a high achieving woman 
is overt and covert resistance from 
a substantial number of conservatives. 
Business people as well as family mem- 
bers (including other women) often 
have negative images of a woman in a 
"worldly" or competitive role. Differ- 
ences in life style frequently lead to 
negative judgments: stereotypes of high 
achieving women as being masculine, 
castrating, and/or selfish. The women 
striving to accomplish a nontraditional 
goal often faces such resistance alone. 
The occupational support system, especial- 
ly helpful to younger members of a pro- 
fession, is missing for women. (Sheehy, 
1976). The mentor relationship is just 
starting to evolve between women, per- 
haps rarely evident due to a scarcity 
of established women available to 
assume the mentor role. This places 
a handicap on women entering a profession, 
as it limits career contacts which 
might further professional development. 


In response to a demanding life 
style and the rapid tempo of life, the 
high achieving woman needs to develop 
creative methods for coping with 
extremely high levels of stress. The 
essential element in creative coping 
is self-awareness. The high achieving 
woman needs to identify her own optimal 
stress level and attempt to not exceed 
it. She also needs to identify her 
personal stress reaction pattern and 
the signals which warn of excessive 
stress. Thoughtful planning and 
pacing of chosen stress (i.e. job 
changes, moves) is a helpful coping 
technique as is periodic self-review 
regarding the quality, volume, diver- 
sity, routine and pace of life. Asking 
for professional help is also a 
productive coping technique. A short- 
term stress response psychotherapy or 
counseling experience increases the 
high achieving woman's self-awareness 
by identifying acute and chronic 
stresses in her life; it may facilitate 
the development of more diverse coping/ 
adjustment techniques. 

Physical exercise may also aid 
the high achieving woman in attaining 
a more balanced and diversified life 
style. Two forty-five minute strenu- 
ous exercise routines weekly helps 
the high achiever "burn off" emotional 
stress, while keeping the body in 
good condition o Proper nutrition, a 
key factor for physical well-being, can 
also affect reaction to stress. Vit- 
amin B complex and vitamin C may help 
the body resist the negative infection- 
fighting effects of stress, and low 
sugar intake and natural and low- 
carbohydrate foods help maintain 
physical well-being. 

In addition to developing habits 
of self-awareness, sound nutrition, 
and regular exercise, one may reduce 
stress by engaging in a daily relaxation 
exercise. The relaxation response 
(Benson, 1975) or meditation are both 
good techniques to employ in reducing 
tension. Benson's relaxation technique 
is especially helpful when making a 
transition, for instance from professor 
to consultant, consultant to friend, 
or service provider to researcher. Last- 


ly, a support system of colleagues, 
close friends, and family are critically 
Important 1n resolution of acute stress. 
The support system serves to dissipate 
and make more palatable the ongoing 
stress that preceeds and accompanies 
the satisfaction of accomplishment. 


Btn&on, H„ The. Relaxation ReaponAe. 

Hqjjo Voik: WXJUUam Mohjuouj & Co., 1975. 
SeZyz, H. S&izu Without ViAtAeA*. 

PkUadzZphta.; J.B. Uppincott, 1 974. 
Shezhy, G. Thz Mental Connection. 

New Sonk, ApfUl 1976, 11-19. 
ToiiXjiA, A. futuAt Shock. New Voik: 

Random Hoa&t, 7970. 

by Muni Kaplan 6 Ann Motcou 

If we are to believe the stories 
in popular magazines, women who under- 
go mastectomies are mutilated, psycho- 
logically traumatized and suicidal. 
In our breast conscious society, sup- 
posedly, the amputation of the breast 
leaves the woman forever scarred, 
emotionally as well as physically. One 
woman describes her experience in the 
following way: "From the moment my 
physician said that I had metastatic 
breast cancer, until two years after 
my surgery, I was frozen with fear... 
The threat of death hung over me day 
and night, but I believe that the 
mutilation was more traumatic." / 
Medical 2 and psychological I iterature3 
is as much at fault in perpetuating 
this myth as popular literature 4,5 
and television. 

As mastectomees and co-founders 
of "Y-Me?" a breast cancer support 
program, the authors have been in 
contact with nearly two hundred women 
with breast cancer over the past two 
and a half years. A minority of 
women deny the frightening fact that 
they have a life threatening illness 
by focusing only on breast loss. 
Centering on so called "mutilating" 
amputation of the breast, these women 
are displacing the cancer diagnosis. 
What does concern most women is that 
they have cancer. Their lives are 
threatened, and they have to face 
their own mortality. 

Three years ago the authors 
became acquainted and began to share 
feelings of how isolated and alone 
they felt while going through the 
experience of a cancer diagnosis, 
surgery and subsequent therapy. Mi mi 
had a mastectomy in 1977 and was told 
she would need further treatment, 
called "adjuvant chemotherapy". Ann 
was told she should have a prophylactic 
mastectomy of the second breast because 
of danger of the disease spreading. We 
talked about our fears and anxieties 
and how we had wished for someone to 

talk to who had been through the 
same experience. From these talks 
we came to the conclusion that there 
was a need for an ongoing support 
system for women with breast cancer. 
We believed that talking to and being 
with other women (role models) who 
had been through the experience them- 
selves, was an important part of the 
psychological and physical rehabili- 
tation process. We also found 
numerous articles in both psycholog- 
ical 6,7 and medical literature to 
support our be I iefs. 8 Upon further 
research into the literature we 
found few such groups in existence. 
One, Reach to Recovery, offers the 
woman temporary support only while 
she is hospitalized, but has no 
fol low-up program. 

Until recently, the Reach to 
Recovery type of support service for 
the breast cancer patient was thought 
to be adequate for many women. How- 
ever, with the change in treatments 
and the excessive conflicting media 
reports regarding breast cancer, 
women are asking fdr and want more 
information about their diseases„9 
Many need more than one hospital visit. 


Frequently, a Reach to Recovery visitor 
would appear when the patient wasn't 
ready to face up to her illness. 
Often, the reality of the situation 
didn't set In until weeks or months 
later. Unlike Reach, Y-Me? believed 
support was needed for a time fol low- 
ing surgery. Because of our experience 
we decided to set up a hotline phone 
service to answer calls from women 
needing information and psychological 
support before and/or after surgery. 
Many cal Is were from women on chemo- 
therapy who needed reassurance and 
encouragement. We set up weekly 
support groups for women who wanted to 
talk and share. Workshops were con- 
ducted for women wanting education 
concerning all aspects of breast 
disease and its various treatments. 

Our hotline, self-help groups 
and workshops are facilitated by 
volunteers who have had breast cancer. 
For two years Mi mi was on chemotherapy 
and feels empathetic towards other 
women undergoing treatment „ She is 
able to give them encouragement and 
support. A university professor and 
librarian, she has done extensive 
research on this disease. She conducts 
workshops and seminars on breast 
cancer. Besides having had cancer 
herself, Ann is a therapeutic counselor 
and is well qualified to lead self-help 
groups as well as do individual 
counseling. She has also watched a 
sister die from breast cancer after a 
long, painful fight. Both her profes- 
sional and personal experience give 
her a unique sensitivity to both the 
patient and their family's needs. 

Each of us have had days when 
we wanted to run away from the program. 
There have been times when we've had 
to watch a woman we've grown to love 
and admire fight courageously for 
her life, only to lose. We've made 
beautiful friendships; breast cancer 
seems to strike some pretty terrific 
women. We have learned that there 
is true therapy in giving and that 
in sharing, we receive. 

We are convinced that support 
programs such as ours are necessary. 

To be able to share and express the 
deep feelings and fears that cancer 
elicits in each of us is a necessary 
part of the healing process. For 
the woman with breast cancer, the 
doctor, her family, and her friends 
must realize that more than the 
external scar needs healing. 

Hotlines and self-help groups 
staffed by peer volunteers are not 
only valuable resources for the 
cancer patient, they have an excellent 
therapeutic effect on the volunteer. 
When cancer is diagnosed, the patient 
must face her own mortality. For many 
this means a re-assessment of life 
goals and values and establishing 
new and different priorities in life. 
It can also involve basic personality 
changes. For the authors it meant 
becoming more self-assertive and a 
turning outward towards others for 
self-fulfillment. One of the first 
things a cancer patient may ask is, 
"what have I done with my life?" For 
some there is no greater satisfaction 
than helping another human being. 
Being a cancer volunteer can give one's 
life meaning. By helping others, we 
give ourselves a goal. We want to 
stay well so that we can remain role 
models for others. There always seems 
to be someone less fortunate. Both 
authors have had some feelings of 
"it couldn't be me, "or "it couldn't 
happen to me." The horror lies in the 
fact that we also know very well that 
it could happen again. There is always 
the irrational wish component of 
non-recurrence pitted against the fact 
that breast cancer is still the lead- 
ing cause of death in women between 
the ages of 40 and 44*9 As volunteers 
we must recognize our own fears be- 
fore we can be of help to another. 

Group experiences have taught 
us that in a sharing situation most 
breast cancer patients derive 
assurance and encouragement from each 
other. The most important thing is 
knowing that someone else has had 
the same feelings and the same problems. 
It is also important to know others are 
finding coping mechanisms that work. 


Often the woman who has undergone 
breast cancer surgery fears that she 
will not be able to resume her previous 
responsibilities and activities. She 
is afraid for her life, afraid she will 
not be in control, afraid her husband 
or lover will reject her, afraid 
that radiation and/or chemotherapy 
treatments will make her so sick she 
can no longer function in her usual 
role. Her first experience in a peer 
group can be of major importance to 
her in that she sees other women coping 
and functioning. She is able to see 
that others too, have irrational fears. 
Realizing that these fears are common 
to other breast cancer patients, her 
self-confidence improves and she finds 
it easier to resume her presurgical 
I ife sty le c 

A good role model is extremely 
important during this difficult time. 
It can often make the difference 
between staying on chemotherapeut ic 
drugs and terminating treatmento It 
is reassuring for women on chemother- 
apy to see others who are functioning 
well. Examining a prosthesis (breast 
form) before buying one has made the 
trauma of that first purchase easier 
to bear. Films about breast cancer 
provide the new patient with up-to-date 
information on her disease,, Feeling 
in control, knowing that she has the 
necessary information for making 
intelligent choices regarding treat- 
ment, being able to have an active role 
in her future are all important learn- 
ing experiences for the breast cancer 
patient. These are areas in which the 
peer counselor can be of aid. 

The psychosocial needs of the 
breast cancer patient deserves more 
attention. The social worker, psychol- 
ogist, therapist and nurse are necessary 
adjuncts to the peer cancer counselors. 
Although many doctors have been cautioned 
against becoming emotionally involved 
with their patients, peer volunteers 
can and do become emotionally involved 
when they see another person dying of 
the same disease. Trained health 
care professionals can be of tremendous 
assistance and worthwhile members of 
the cancer support team i f they can 

accept and lend support to the cancer 
volunteer e In the future, the authors 
would like to see a more cohesive unit 
that consists of both peer counselors 
and professionals in the health care 
and mental health fields. We feel that 
each has a good deal to offer the other» 
Out of this joint venture we see a system 
that can be of real benefit to not only 
the breast cancer patient, but anyone 
who has a life threatening illness. 


1. Harrell, H.C. "To Lose a Breast," 
(1972) 676. 

2. Krant, Me£v-tn J. "Psychosocial 
Support Systems in Cancer" in 
Alton I. Sutnick and Paul F„ Engstrom, 
Baltimore: University Park Press, 1976, 

3. Asken, Michael J. "Psycho emotional 
Aspects o$ Mastectomy: A Review 

oh Rz.ce.nt Literature," AMERICAN 
1, 1975) 56-59. 

4. Gross, Amy, "Sreast Loss, Emotional 
Recovery," VOGUE, 69 {July, 1979) 181. 

5. RolUn, Betty, FIRST, YOU CRY, 
Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1976, 

6. Holland, Jimmie, "Coping uiith 
CanceAi A Challenge to the. Behavioral 
76-1074, Bethesda, M,, 1976, 

7. MeyeAovoitz, Beth et al, "Adjuvant 
Chemotherapy faon Breast Carcinoma: 
Psychosocial Implications," CANCER, 
43 {1979) 1613-1618. 

8. Schain, Wendy. "ProphylaxJu, , 
Therapy and Rehabilitation ^or the. 
Psychosocial Concerns ojj Breast 
Cancer Patients: A Stage Related 
BREAST, 4, nos. 2S3 {1978) pt, 1, 
23-27 and pt, 2, 26-31, 

VHEW Pub, No, (NIH) 80-1691, 
Bethesda, Md,, 1979, 



by Elfiie. HlwteAkoph 

Ever since I was a little girl, 
I have had arguments with men. I 
most often lost these arguments, and 
lost trust in myself in the process. 
I remember one argument with my 
father about the unfairness of my 
having to wash dishes while my 
brothers didn't. I lost that argu- 
ment and remember sitting on the 
porch afterwards crying by myself 
for I knew not what. There are still 
times when I experience confusion about 
sex-role expectations. But since 
that time I have learned to focus with 
the focusing technique I learned to 
feel into my bodily sense and to 
trust it, thereby learning to trust 
myself. By trusting myself more, I 
have learned to live my role as a 
woman authentically from within, 
rather than allowing it (and myself) 
to be determined by external, tradi- 
tional sex-role expectations. 

In his latest book, Focusing 
(1978), Gendlin describes the 
technique by which people can attend 
to their felt sense— their bodily- 
felt experience of a problem which 
may not yet be conceptually clear. 
Most people, in dealing with a 
problem, concentrate on that part of 
the problem which they already know. 
In psychotherapy research (Gendlin, 
1966, 1968; Metarazzo, 1965; Rogers, 
1967; Tomlinson, 1959, 1962; Tomlinson 
& Hart, 1962; Truax, 1963; Walker, 
Rablen, and Rogers, 1959) it has 
been found that positive change 
comes from paying attention to that 
part of the problem which one does 
not yet know, called the "felt sense". 
Paying attention to this felt sense 
is similar to attending to the vague 
feeling one has when something has 
been forgotten but cannot be identified, 

A practical example of using focus- 
ing within an authentic relationship 
might be helpful at this point: Lisa, 
a professional woman, does not feel 


comfortable in letting Joe pay the 
expenses when they get together. How- 
ever, splitting the cost of everything 
or going "dutch" doesn't feel right 
either. Although the latter behavior 
might be considered by some as the 
role of the liberated woman, it can 
be as restrictive as the traditional 
roles because it too, imposes a strict 
pattern of behavior. Splitting the 
cost of everything leaves Lisa with 
a vague, lonely, separated-from-Joe 
felt sense. Instead of continuing 
the relationship with this uncomfort- 
able feeling, Lisa can focus. 

First, she will find a quiet 
place, relax, and breathe deeply 
for a few moments, clearing her mind 
of everything she already knows and 
paying attention instead to her 
bodily felt sense. In this case, 
Lisa examines the vague, lonely, 
separated-from-Joe felt sense which 
she experiences as an emptiness in 
her chest. She then checks the 
rest of her body, especially her 
torso, for other bodily sensations. 
Lisa finds a warm surge in her 
stomache which gets stopped at her 
chest. With that warm feeling in 
her stomache, comes the image of 
a fountain, which is blocked by 
the emptiness in her chest. She 
asks this image what it is about 
and lets new words or images come 
to her from the felt sense, rather 
than intellectual izing or rationalizing, 
The word "spontaneous" comes to 
her. She checks this word with her 
bodily sense to see if it feels right. 
(If the word is not right, for example 
if it is intellectual i zed, there will 
be no change in her bodily sense.) 
When checked, the word "spontaneous" 
brings a feeling of release. The 
fountain is now able to flow without 
being stopped. (This feeling of release 
is similar to the relief felt when 
remembering the item you forgot to 
pack on the trip. Even if the forget- 
ting is inconvenient, there is true 
relief in knowing what has been for- 

Now Lisa asks this new felt sense 
what it is about, and realizes that 
it would feel better to spontaneously 

pay for things as long as this feels 
agreeable to both. 

After completing the focusing 
process, Lisa decides that if either 
she or Joe feels uneasy about the 
money situation, it should be the respon- 
sibility of that person to verbalize 
this discomfort . So Lisa must talk 
with Joe to learn if this arrangement 
feels right for him. Preferably, Joe 
will also be able to focus and share 
what feels right for him, although 
both partners may not be able to 
reach this type of awareness at the 
same time. 

Living from the inside felt 
sense, achieved through the process 
of focusing, sharing, and negotiating 
can lead to a relationship based 
on authentic roles. This is different 
from living according to the old roles 
in which contents of behavior, such 
as "the man must always pay", were 
predetermined and culturally imposed. 
While traditional roles impose* 
contents from outside, new authentic 
roles specify the process by which 
the behavior is determined—regardless 
of sex. 

Practicing focusing techniques 
within a relationship has several 
beneficial effects. With the contents 
of traditional male/female roles in 
such flux, much confusion exists 
today. Traditional guidelines are 
vanishing, leaving individual needs 
and circumstances to guide our behavior. 
A typical example is the wife return- 
ing to school or work who encounters 
conflicting professional and household 
obligations. Such conflicts demand 
new nontraditional divisions of labor 
within the family, which can be a 
stressful process. Focusing, since 
it facilitates staying in touch with 
oneself in the midst of these 
changing roles, can be most helpful. 

Because focusing can be done 
alone, it is especially useful for 
the married woman experiencing role 
changes. Frequently her main source 
of validation is her husband. Because 
the role a wife is trying to change 

often affects her relationship to her 
husband, she frequently experiences 
his resistance and a lack of valida- 
tion from him. But focusing can 
provide the married woman with the 
inner source of validation and confi- 
dence needed when going through such 
difficult times. 

Sharing focusing also keeps the 
relationship interesting and exciting. 
Boredom in a relationship often 
results from talking only about that 
material which one already knows. When 
couples share focusing, they continually 
share that which is new and unique— be- - 
cause everyone's focusing process at 
any given time is unique. 

In the past, those who rejected 
traditional roles found themselves 
caught between the choice of living 
in existing structures, which often 
caused internal deadening, or accept- 
ing chaos— without values and standards. 
Hopefully, in the future both women 
and men need not choose either of 
these ways, but can adopt an alterna- 
tive by becoming role creators through 
sharing the process of being in 
authentic relationships. In this way, 
perhaps, a new society can be formed 
which will be less oppressive for 


Gendtin, E,T. ReAexvuch in psycho- 
therapy with schizophrenic patients 
and the nature o£ "illness." 
American Journal ol Psychotherapy, 
Ml, 2d, 4-u7 

Gendtin, F7T. The experiential 
response. In E, Hammer (Ed ) , 
Use o& Interpretation in Treat- 
ment, New Votiki Gnxme S Stratton, 

Gendtin, E.T. To casing. Psycho- 
therapy: Theory, Research and 
Practice , 7969, 6, 4-7 5. 

h\atarazzo, J.V. Psychotherapeutic 
processes. Annual. Review oj 
Psychology 79^5 f U, 181-224, 

Rogesd, C.R. f Ed) Th e~theJiape.iuU.c 
n.e£ation&hip and its impact: A 
ptioghjam o^ in psychotherapy 


mXh schizophAcnics , 'AadiAon, i<JZs.: 
UyuWUaAij o^ Wisconsin Pn.css, 1967, 

Tomlinson, T Mo A validatijon study 
0^ a scalz fob tke. mejasuH.ejme.nt o^ 
tke. pn.oc.2Ai> ol personality change 
in p6ijc.kotkoAja.pijo Unpublished masteA's 
thesis, UniveAsity ofi Wisconsin, 7959. 

Tomlinson, T„ M„ Tlmce. appn.oa.ckeJ> 
to the study o& psyckotkenapy: Pno- 
cess, outcome., and change.. Unpublisked 
doctonal ditseAttution, UniveAAiXy 
o{t Wisconsin, 1962. 

Tomlinson, TJ\,, 6 Hant, 3,T, 

A validation o£ tke. process scale. 
Jounnal oX Consulting Psycho logy, 
1961, U, U-lf. 

Tnxmx, CJT7 Elective. ingneaU.ents 
-In psychotherapy, JouAnal o£ 
Counseling Psychologlj, 1963, 10, 

WalkeA, A., Rablen, R.A., f, RogeAS, C.R, 
Qe.veJLopme.nt o^ a scale, to measure 
process change in psychotherapy. 
Jounnal oj Clinical Psychology, 1959, 
16, 79—o5 



by Vavirt McutteAon 

Due to the women's movement, or 
more commonly due to the pressure for 
role changes from a particular woman, 
many men have begun to examine sex 
role issues,. In the last few years I 
have witnessed many men changing, 
especially in the men's groups in 
which I have participated. During these 
years I have also witnessed many men 
defending their own status quo — reacting 
to sex role changes as to a threat, 
and becoming increasingly rigid about 
what the sex roles ought to be. This 
has aroused my interest in trying to 
discern the factors which facilitate 
changing men. 

At a meeting of Chicago Men's 
Gather ing2 about a year ago, some 
twenty men were discussing an issue 
over which the group was divided. As 
different members sought to make 
their points, the atmosphere subtly 
began to shift from men caring for 
each other to men competing. But 
even before my conscious mind had 
taken note of the shift, one member 

asked gently, "Is this what we want 
from being together?" In this partic- 
ular group, already committed to a 
non-sexist philosophy, that simple 
question was enough. We were immedi- 
ately in touch with our desires, our 
longings: to be together. Discussion 
and disagreement continued — but 
without further put-downs. 

The experience was memorable in 
its contrast to hundreds of faculty 
meetings and other male-dominated 
events in which I've participated. 
The words "Is this what we want?" 
continue to echo in my ears. 

Here was the clue. Changing 
men are men who see alternatives, and 
can get in touch with what they them- 
selves want. For these men, change 
is not a reaction to women's change, 
but an awareness of themselves and 
their own needs, and of the alterna- 
tives avai lable. 

Experiences such as this led me 
to review the research on changing men 
and women. Though careful research 
is sparse, it is generally agreed 
that women, at least in segments of 
our society, hold less stereotypic 
attitudes toward sex roles today than 
did women a few years back. Whether 
men's attitudes are changing is question- 

Since adolescence appears to be 
a crucial period in the formation of 
sex role attitudes and behaviors, I 
focused my attention on that age group. 
Previous research has shown that adol- 
escents fit the same pattern as do 
other age groups: female youth hold 
less rigid stereotypes than their male 
peers. Der-Karabetian and Smith (1977) 
conf imed this for a group of high 
school and college students, using 
an adjective check list. My own pilot 
study used a content analysis of 
responses to interviews with high 
school psychology students in Park 
Forest, and found the same pattern. 
Boys appeared more traditional both 
in attitudes and in reported behaviors 
than girls (Matteson, 1980a). 


Two factors help to explain the 
observations that high school boys 
are more rigid regarding sex roles 
than their female peers: the more 
rigid stereotyping of boys during 
childrearing (Matteson, 1975), and 
the greater attention (e.g., in the media) 
paid to changes in women 1 s roles than 
to possibilities for changes in men's 
roles. Possibly, men's attitudes 
would become more liberal if men, 
instead of having to react to women's 
changes, were provided with male models 
of non-sexist lifestyles, alternatives 
to the stereotypic ways of being a man. 

This was my hypothesis in the next 
pilot study (Matteson, 1980b). I used 
a pure experimental design: the twelve 
males and sixteen females attending 
a meeting of a Protestant youth group 
were randomly assigned to two condi- 
tions. Half saw a movie which discussed 
traditional masculine sex roles and 
portrayed men living a variety of 
alternatives. The other half saw a 
"placebo" movie, not related to sex 
roles. I hypothesized that men, after 
seeing alternatives for men's roles, 
would be more tolerant regarding 
women's roles. That's exactly what 
happened. The men who saw the movie 
Men's Lives3 scored much higher in 
attitudes toward women4 than those 
viewing the placebo movie. 5 In 
this experiment the women were placed 
in a reactive position (since the movie 
focused on changes in men's roles) in 
much the way men are usually in a 
reactive position (to changes in 
women's roles); the results were that 
no change occurred for women; i.e. the 
attitudes of the women who viewed the 
film Men's Lives were no different 
from those who viewed the control 

What these results suggest is 
that changes in men's attitudes 
about sex roles, indeed, in men's 
attitudes toward women, are facili- 
tated by providing men with alternative 
models for the male role. The 
research lends support to my earlier 
observation: changing men are men who 
see alternatives and can get in touch 
with what they themselves want. Re- 

acting to changes in the other sex 
does not produce change in oneself 
(at least in this study); it may 
produce a defensive reaction. 

Perhaps some of the women read- 
ing this article had hoped for tips 
on how women can go about changing 
men. By now it is clear that I 
be I ieve men change men. I do not 
believe change comes only from 
within — but that men, collectively, 
help one another redefine what 
masculinity means. Our men's groups 
have learned from women's conscious- 
ness-raising groups, and some of us 
will continue to learn from women. 
But for many, women are seen as having 
a vested interest in changing men. 
Coming from a woman, the statement 
"I want you to change because it 
will be good for you," is not likely 
to be believed. But perhaps men can 
hear and experience from other men 
that being with equals in a non-competi' 
tive, caring way is good for us. When 
we are with other men and experience 
caring among equals, perhaps we'll 
want equality in our relationships 
with women as we 1 1 . 

For the woman who longs for that 
process to begin in a man she cares 
about, my only advice is that, if 
possible, he be presented with a I tern- 


atives for men from men Perhaps you 
can leave this article lying around! 
I hope it succeeds — for his sake e 


To I have borrowed by iJitle ^rom an 
album, "Walls to Ro*e*: Song* o^ 
Changing Men," 7979, Volknoay* 
Record*, 43 W. 6Ut St c , New Vork, 
N.V. 10023, 

2. Chicago Men'* Gathering, ?„6. Sox 
11076, Chicago, III. 60611. 

3. "Hen** Lives," by Jo*h Hanig and 
Will Roberts; distributed by New 
Day VWn*, franklin lakes, New 

4. The in*tument u*ed was "The. Attitude. 
Toward Women Scale.", by Spe.nct, J. 
and Hebnreijch, R. Journal Supple- 
ment Abstract Service, Catalog o{, 
Selected Document* in ?*ychology, 
1972, 2 ( no. 153) . 

5. The di^erence ion men approached 
*tati*tical *igni{,icance [p. 07) 
even though the sample was *mall 


Ver-Karabetian, Aghop, and SmiXh, 
Anthony J. [ 1977). Sex-role 
6teAeotyptng in the U.S.: J* it 
Changing? Sex Role*: A Journal o& 
Research, 3: 193-19Z. — 

Hatteson, VaviZ R. [1975). Adolescent* 
Today: Sex Role* and the Search %qA 
Identity. Homewood, IJUUnol*: Vonsey 

Hatteson, VavidcR. [1980a). Teenager* 
Attitude* toward *ex role*. Un- 
published report; O^ice o£ Research, 
Governor* State Univer*iXy 

Uatteson, David R. [1980b). Sex role* 
and the *earch ^or identity: live 
year* later. Unpublished lecture; 
Clinical Research Training Program 
in Adolescence, University o£ Chicago/ 
Michael Reese Ho*pital. 



On a windy and tunny tpning day 
I took myteli to Amttexdam to vitit 
the. International Axchivet o$ the 
Women' & Movement [Stichting Jntexna- 
tionaal Axchiei voox do Vxouwenbeweging) . 
On the way I patted ttxeet gxa^iXi 
that told me that the women o& 
Amttexdam wexe alto involved in the 
"Take Bacfe the Might" movement againtt 
poxnogxaphy and violence; taw pottext 
that uxged a ttop to nucleax energy 
pxojectt; and vitiXed the home o^ 
Anne Vxank. Thexe one teet the old 
bookcate that hid the tecxet doox 
to the Annex, the worn whexe the 
mote hex diaxy, the wallt with 
pictuxet which Anne cat ixom magazinet 
and patted thexe. It it a pilgrimage. 
In thete thabby xoomt, in the pretence 
ojj thete t hocking photogxapht, one 
it reminded otf the pextittence OjJ 
hatred and bigotry in the would: to 
thed a teax it inevitable, IjJ gentle 
Anne wexe alive today the would be 
ii{ty yeaxt old*. .and ttill fighting 
fax hen. idealt that "people axe xeally 
good at heaxt"...? On to the Axchivet: 

I entex a loom entirely filled 
with bookt, magazinet, documentt, 
photogxapht, filling thelvet, caxtont, 
and ttacked on the iloox. Only a cen- 
tral laxge Uhxaxy table it clean, fax 
ttudy. The waltt axe covexed with 
pottext in many languaget, dating 
back fax decadet. I am met by the 
librarian, Claixe Rappange, who hat 
given me thit houx fax an interview. 
Thete Axchivet axe old friiendt o£ 
TCW — they have been oux tubtcxlbext 
$xom oux fiixtt yeax. Claixe it a 
competent, direct, friendly young 
woman, a compact \iguxe in hex navy 
blue jumptult. She it one otf &**>*• 
bull-time paid woxkext, attitted by 
\ive volunteext. I leaxn, to my 
tuxprite, that the Axchivet wexe 
faunded in 1935, 

Following tu^rage which, at in 
the United Statet, wot attained in 
1919, women thought fax a while that 
they had xeached theix goal, only to 
discover that they wexe xettxicted in 
theix woxk by many govexnment xettxic 


internationaal archief 

voor de 

jaarverslag 1978 

tiont and handicapped by the lack o£ 
xeady access to ettential information. 
They needed a place to attemble docu- 
mentt and a ttudy centex; that, they 
became xe-activated. The collection 
which now texvet both historical 
xeteaxch and comtempoxaxy ttudiet, 
wot ttaxted by the donation o& live 
hundxed volumes by Rota Manas, an 
oxganizex ol international con{ex- 
encet, who handed ovex the libxaxy otf 
Vx. AJLeXta H. Jacobs, the iixtt 
Dutch woman ptytidan, pxactitionex 
o& obttetxict and gynecology, who 
did xeteaxch in contxaception at 
eaxly at 1900. 

In 1940 the Axchivet wexe doted 
by the Nazis who expxopxiated mott 
o\ the collection. "They wexe at 
aptaid o£ the women 1 1 movement at 
they wexe o& any othex fa fun o^ 
fa-eedom, democxacy, ox tocialitm" , 
xemarhs Claixe. A\tex the wax, 
evexything had to be ttaxted ovex. 
It wot dli&icult to intexett the 
govexnment in support fax the Axclvivet 
and the pxoject wat tomnolent, with 
no paid librarian until 196S. Thexe 
wexe all sorts o£ txoublet with the 
govexnment tpontoxt, the dixectoxt, 
the ttafifi, and in the midtt otf all 
thete txoublet, a collective wat 
faxmed. "Then tomething intexetting 
happened: all the txoublet wexe gone!" 

By 1975 (International Year o£ 
the Woman) financial *upport was 
somewhat better but *tilll not nearly 
*u^icient. In the. f^ive years since, 
visits to the. Archives have, grown 
firom ZOO a yean, to 4500 a year. 
Several thousand boofi6 axe catalogued 
and the serial holding* include. 2B7 
periodical*. The. *ta^ is looking 
farward to a move, to larger quarters 
and plan to join with three otheA 
organization* to create a National 
CenteA far Women. Claire is talking 
about hen. hope* far the. Archives: 
"We vwdt to build very *lowly. We 
don't want to lo*e the. good 
relation* hip* we. have developed in 
this *mall collective Each woman 
ha* he.n. oion responsibility far clean- 
ing and everyone, is responsible far 
the whole thing. We al*o want ouA 
*alarie* to be about equal. We don't 
a*k far *omeone to clean the building. 
We do itc Everyone doe* *ome o£ the 
'dirty' work and everyone doe* *ome ofa 
tixe ' iiner' work. We belteve that 
ift, in the world, all people would 
do *ome o{> the 'dirty' work, there 
would be leioer division* among us" o 

A* we discus* ed the various 
i**ue* that concern women everyiohere, 
I learned that the one is*ue which 
will bring everybody onto the street* 
in Holland is abortion, which is not 
yet fiully legal here. 

I lefit the Archive* laden with 
a po*ter o£ "Annie" — Annie Romein- 
[/enschoor, marxist feminist historian, 
under my arm, as welt as a copy o& a 
French feminist weekly, fainst to 
publish the work oft dis*ident Russian 
women. [See page 3>h ) . Claire'* 
response to my inquiry about 
Almanakh was warm and immediate: 
{ "Would you like a copy? VUL copy 
it far you.") 

What is perhap* mo*t *triking 
about this remarkable place i* the 
way in which a *mall group o£ women 
have farmed a non-hierarchical organ- 
izational *tructure which has borne 
{Auit in the development ofa a distin- 
guished collection, imaginative 
*ervice* o{ distribution, and a 

delight fal. atmo*phere In which to 
work or *tudy. Tht* may be the 
truly revolutionary aspect o& our 
movement, I thought as I walked back 
to the train, station', as Sara Shumer 
wrote [ TCW, Summer1979) to live to- 
gether "wikh ouA capacity far justice 
and dialogue. oc with our capacity far 
inclusivenes* and collective action, 
not competition nor domination" . 

Reader* are invited to complete 
the que*tionnaire on page 36 and to 
mall it to the women in Herengracht 
Street. Your work will be listed in 
a periodical devoted to the continuing 
updating o£ research material*, *o 
that you can be in touch with women 
elsewhere in the world who are working 
in a related ^ield. Donation* to the 
Archive* are * ought: please send 
Small magazines, pamphlets, photograph* , 
notice* o^ women'* meeting* and events 
a* well as books. They will be welcome. 

Helen E. Hughes, Editor 


Herengracht 262-266 Amsterdam, tel. 020-246671 c.147. 
Postbox 19315 1000 GH Amsterdam, The Netherlands. 


The purpose of this questionnaire of the IAV is to make an 

inventory of the research in progress on the position of 

women and the women's movement. 

The subjects of research will be arranged systematically and 

will be available for consultation by callers and enquirers 

at the IAV. 

Research on the same subject can be coordinated better this 

way, since one will be able to communicate with each other. 

Unless you specifically state otherwise, it is assumed that 

you have no objection to the information you provide being 

accessible to interested parties, or published. 

Name ; Date : 

Address ; 

Phone : 

Short title of your research; 

Is your research on a specific country; 

In what capacity are you doing this research? (e.g. School- 
student, Ph.D., Trade union, Women's group). 

Relevant qualifications? experience: 

Name of supervisor: 

Who is funding your research? 

Problems you've encountered in your research? suggestions? 

Have you published anything or are you planning to do so? 
Please give details. 

The IAV is always grateful for gifts of published or 
unpublished papers, pamphlets etc. 



Sophia Sokolova, Tat i nana Momonova 
and Julia Voznesenskaya had just 
published the first issue of Almanakh : 
Women and Russia, an underground 
magazine or samizdat, devoted to a 
feminist critique of the role of 
women in Societ society, when they 
were detained and threatened by the 
KBG and warned that they would be 
arrested if they continued. There 
may never be an issue No, 2, but the 
first issue contains powerful and 
mov i ng mater i a I . The Creative Woman 
obtained a copy of the French trans- 
lation, published in des femmes en 
mouvements hebdo in January 1980, 
and hopes to obtain rights to an 
English translation,, Reproduced 
here is the Russian title, the 
French version of Mamonova's preamble, 
and my trans I at i on We hope to 
bring you more in future issues as 
these long-stilled voices are raised 
in bitter complaint and poignant 

(See Newsweek, April 7, 1980, page 35, 
international edition) 



(translated from the Russian by 
Judith Stora-Sandor, des femmes en 
mouvements hebdo, Paris 

translated from the French by Helen 




Comment est-ce ne ? 

Dans la douleur 

comme nalt I'homme] 

Comment est venue la merveiUe ? 

par la tristesse 

comme le visage de I'homme. 

Comment y suis-je arrive'e ? 

pieds nus 

comme on parvient d la ville bien aime 

Comment I'ai-je trouve~ ? 


comme on trouve ses amis 

comme je vous ai trouve's 

vous qui lirez ces lignes! 


Hou does it come? 

Tatiana Mamonova 

Like the labor of childbirth] 

Hou does the miracle come? 

Through the sorrow 

in a human face. 

Hou did I get here? 

on foot 

as one comes to a longed for land. 

Hou did I find it? 

uith difficulty 

As one discovers friends 

As I have found you 

You uho read these lines] 



The Current issue of The American 
Psychologist (VoL 35, No. 3, 244-252) 
presents Leonard Eron on "Prescription 
for Reduction of Aggression", in which 
he proposes that boys be exposed to 
the same training that girls have 
traditionally received in our society, 
and that they be encouraged to develop 
similar kinds of socially positive, 
tender, cooperative, nurturant, and 
sensitive qualities, which are anti- 
thetical to aggressive behavior. 

This argument will not be news to 
our readers, who learned that Dr. Eron 
believes that "Males can learn not to 
be aggressive", and that "we should 
socialize boys more as we have been 
socializing girls", as he wrote in 
our issue in Fall 1979, OUR WORLD'S 
CHILDREN (Vol. 3, No. 2). 

Professor Eron went on to write 
(page 11 of TCW) "Rather than insisting 
that little girls should be treated 
like little boys and given the same 
opportunities for participation 
in athletic events etc... It should be 
the other way around. Boys should be 
socialized the way girls have been 
traditionally socialized and they 
should be encouraged to develop 
civilized qualities like tenderness, 
nurturance, cooperation and aesthetic 

Since feminists today argue that women 
ought to have the same opportunities, 
rights, privileges and experiences as 
men, it is extremely interesting to 
note that there are voices also being 
raised by male psychologists who claim 
that men ought to have the same 
opportunity to become fully caring and 
fully human in a way that has previously 
been traditionally assigned only to 

It Is in this convergence of sensibil- 
ites and consciousness that we may 
discern the hopeful glimpse of a 
truly human society yet to be born, 
of boys and girls, men and women, of 
the future. 


Journal of the American Psychological Association 
Volume 35 March 1980 Number 3 

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